From Plan to Action: Prevention and Support for Pregnant Blackfeet Women Using Opioids

Project Term: 12 months; Ended 2018
Grant Amount: $75,000

In 2016, MHCF supported the Rocky Mountain Tribal Epidemiology Center and their Boston University-based partners to work with the Blackfeet Tribe and the Indian Health Service Blackfeet Community Hospital on early-stage planning work to address opioid use by pregnant women. The funds supported a conference hosted at the Blackfeet Community College, a detailed report and feedback, an inspirational Blackfeet visit to the Lummi tribe’s opioid maintenance program, and the formation of a new, multi-partner opioid prevention task force on Blackfeet.

This project continued this work through task force strengthening and capacity-building, focus groups/key informant interviews with clinicians and substance-using pregnant women, the production of a “gap analysis” to determine treatment shortfalls for substance-using pregnant women on Blackfeet, and the production of a feasibility analysis and business plan for developing services to address perinatal drug use. Ultimately, the project resulted in the coordination and development of a medication-assisted treatment (MAT) clinic for pregnant women and families on the Blackfeet Reservation. The grantee was also able to successfully secure additional funding to support further development of the project through the State of Montana STR grant and a Tribal Opioid Response grant which will supplement the services offered through the MAT clinic. A building on the Blackfeet Reservation was secured for the MAT clinic and a partnership was establish with Community Medical Services. Community Medical Services provides the induction and medication management services and Blackfeet Tribal Health provides the care coordination and behavioral health services for the women and families.

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